Tuesday, January 26, 2010

THE SWEET BY AND BY - Rachel Hauck - Free Book

I always love having Rachel Hauck on my blog. Rachel, What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?

I don’t consciously write on any particular theme. I try to stick with themes that fit the story. However, I believe what comes out in all my stories is God’s love and destiny for each and every one of us.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?

Wow, such a hard question. I can think of several people. I’d like to spend an evening with Major Richard Winters who lead E-Company in WW 2. Or one of the other men in E-Company. I want to hang around great Americans and people who love this country and know what it’s about.

I don’t believe there are many in Washington who remember our great patriots or even bad ones. They’ve forgotten the sacrifice of our father’s and mother’s. Otherwise, I’d like to hang out with Keith Urban. I think God has something for him. ;)
How long have you known that you wanted to be novelist?

Since I was a girl. I look back on my journals and I constantly talked about writing.
What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?

The million dollar question, eh, Lena? Wow. Well, if you’re receiving rejections from publishers, I can advise a few things:

Get an agent. Maybe you’re targeting the wrong publisher. Or, your writing is good, but not quite good enough. An agent can help an author fine tune.
Analyze what the rejection letters are telling you.
Rethink your story.
Hire a book therapist. :-) http://www.mybooktherapy.com/
Join a writers group like ACFW. Join a critique group.
Tell us about the featured book?

Jade Fitzgerald left the pain of her past in the dust when she headed out for college a decade ago. Now she's thriving in her career and glowing in the light of Max Benson's love.

But then Jade's hippie mother, Beryl Hill, arrives in Whisper Hollow, Tennessee, for Jade's wedding along with Willow, her wild younger sister. Their arrival forces Jade to throw open the dark closets of her past--the insecurity of living with a restless, wandering mother, the silence of her absent father, and the heart-ripping pain of first-love's rejection.

Turns out Beryl has a secret of her own. She needs reconciliation with her oldest daughter before illness takes her life. In the final days leading to the wedding, Jade meets the One who shows her that the past has no hold on her future. With a little grace, they'll meet in the middle, maybe even before that sweet by and by.

Please give us the first page of the book.

The October sun warmed the Blue Umbrella’s office. A pool of light washed over Jade’s paint-chipped desk and the box of ruby-red invitations shoved against the windowsill.

"Here you go, Liz. Eighty-five dollars for your aunt’s antique bread box." Jade pushed the box out of the way so she could grab the check she’d printed for her customer, exposing a solitary, displaced red invitation.

Beryl Hill, Prairie City, Iowa.

"Bless your heart, old Aunt Ginny, for never making friends with the garbage can." Liz Carlton blew a kiss at the check before folding it into her purse. "Jade, I’ve got plenty more items to consign with you."

"I’m always interested." She patted the small, spry woman on the shoulder. "And don’t forget you can sell some of your valuables on eBay."

"On eBay? Goodness, child, I’d have no idea how to—"

"And the county dump." Jade walked her across the bright, polished shop to the front door.

"The county dump? I do believe you don’t sound a bit grateful, Jade Fitzgerald. I bring in my precious family treasures for you to sell, sharing the profits with you, and what thanks do I get? A recommendation to the county dump."

"Liz, I appreciate your business. You know I do. But the Blue Umbrella is looking for timeless pieces, items with a story and a history. Last week you brought in a bag of peeling costume jewelry and some moth-eaten sweaters."

"Those sweaters had a story, Jade. I told you my great-great-granny knitted them by a coal fire."

Jade gently slipped her arm through Liz’s. After all, she was a valued client, despite her lack of vintage prowess. "I’m looking for quality, not quantity, Liz. But I do admit"—Jade paused at the door—"your items always come with interesting stories."

Liz opened the door. "You wait and see what I dig up next."

"I’m holding my breath," Jade said with a grin.

Back in her office, Jade dropped to her desk chair, sighing. Liz was entertaining if nothing else.
She surveyed the row of lime-green sticky notes running along the top of her desk. Her to-do list. Her eyes fell on one sticky note, the one with the curled edges where her arm grazed over it:
Mail invitations.

Sounds interesting, Rachel. I can hardly wait for my book to get here. How did this collaboration come about?

Really? God. Thomas Nelson approached Sara about a fiction project, then approached me about writing with/for her. My career was in a place of make-it or break-it, and I'd just prayed one of my "surrender prayers" to the Lord and was ready to go anywhere, do anything. Not having children, I am pretty much 100% available to pick up and go whenever and wherever. Knowing the Lord would take my husband and current writing and worship commitments into account, I was ready to go! It was very freeing to say, "God, I have nothing. What do you want to do? I'm 100% available. You're so good, whatever it is You want for me, I'll love it."

I've loved this journey writing with Sara. I struggled in some of my weaknesses from time to time, but this was one of the easiest books I've ever written even though I'd never written women's fiction. Never written flashbacks. Never written a continuing character series.

What was Sara's part of the process?

She cast the vision. We sat down and talked about what she wanted in the book, what kind of story she wanted to tell, and hashed out an overview. I went home and added the details and did the writing. If I was unsure about something, I'd email her and ask for her input. For example, we ended up dealing with a controversial social issue in this book and I wanted to know she was ready to assign her name to it.

What do you want readers to take away from this story?

God is good. There is always hope and redemption. While our past can impact our present, we don't have to carry the burden of pain and sin into the future. God truly does work all things together for our good.

What's next for you and Sara?

The second book, Softly and Tenderly, is written and releases January 2011. We are collaborating on two more books to be released January 2012 and 2013. They will be a continuation of the series. Book two is really exciting. Hit's the ground running.

I must feature the other books, too. As an author, how did this book impact you and your work?

I learned a lot about myself. Going back to the original prayer of surrender, I had to see that when God brought something to me to do it might not center around me! Maybe He wanted me to use my gifts and talents for others. At the same time, what amazing grace and peace He gave me.

My writing had to take on a different flavor and tone. I learned to write about two women instead of a romance with a hero and heroine. I had to develop back story that worked on stage instead of through dialogue. This project forced me to work on a much deeper emotional level. I was exhausted when it was done. But I loved the process.

Who is your favorite character?

Well, Jade, the protagonist, of course. But her sister Willow really captured me. We had to back her up a bit or she'd steal the show! I also really had an affection for the character Dustin.

What's next for you? Any solo projects?

Yes! I have a late 2010 release from Thomas Nelson, Dining With Joy, about a cooking show host who can't cook.

That sounds like a fun read. How can readers find you on the Internet?

http://www.rachelhauck.com/. You can find my Facebook and Twitter links there!

Thank you, Rachel, for the interesting visit.

Readers, here's a link where you can buy the book:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link:


Casey said...

I would really like to read this book, I have heard wonderful things about it. Thanks for the feature! :)

Anonymous said...

Would love to read this one....please enter me. Thanks!!!

Sherry Kuhn said...

Sounds like a great book! Please enter me in the drawing.


Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! Sounds like a wonderful book. Please enter me. Thank you!

Rachel Hauck said...

Hi Lena and gang! It's always great to be featured here. Lena is a long time writer friend and I love her heart toward the Lord, others and writing.

Thanks for having me, friend.


Wanda said...

This book looks great! I'd love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

Edna said...

please enter me, I love Rachel's books
I follow you on google blog and also Twitter


Martha A. said...

I just read this book, I got it from the library and really enjoyed it! Great job on writing! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Megan said...

Great interview! And the book sounds very interesting as well! Thanks Lena!


collettakay said...

This looks like a great read!


G.R.I.T.S. said...

sounds like a great book, please enter me!


mariska said...

Great book to read ! pretty please count me in.

Anonymous said...

This book is on my 'wish list.'


Brittanie said...

Enter me please. This is on my TBR.

April Rickard said...

Sounds beautiful! I can't wait to read it - thank you for the interview.

Anna W. said...

Oooh, I've been wanting to read this one! Please enter me!

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

YAY! *clapping enthusiastically* I am SO happy to hear The Sweet By and By is the start of a series!!!! I was so hoping that we would get to hear Willow's story, and maybe some of the other characters. Woo-hoo! The only downer is waiting 'til 2011 to be able to read it. :(

Please don't enter me, Lena...I've already read, and thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Thanks for the great interview!
~ Lori

Deborah M said...

I enjoy books with a Southern theme, since I am a southerner - LOL. Please sign me up for this one.
Deborah M.

Wendy said...

I have been looking forward to this book. Thanks for offering it.

kristen said...

I'd love to read this book. Thanks for the great interview. It's interesting to see how writer's collaborate.

Jo said...

Great to read your interview with Rachel. Love reading Rachel's books. Rachel is a really neat lady. Please enter me in the giveaway.


Anonymous said...

Great collaboration. The book sounds great! :O)


Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Nancye said...

This sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Carla said...

I would love to read this book.
Please sign me up. Thanks.

Brenda said...

I would love to read this book, please, count me in!

dancealert at aol dot com

Cynthia said...

I enjoyed the interview and also your suggestions on how to get the publishing process rolling. Please enter me in the book drawing.

Patty Wysong said...

I loved the personalities in that first page! =]

Esther said...

I would love to win this book. Please enter me in the book giveaway. Thanks! Esther

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel,
Sounds like a wonderful book.
Keep those books coming.
I would love to be signed up for the giveaway.
Have a super day.
Many blessings,
Wanda Chamberlain

Sarah R said...

This book sounds interesting. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

Lady Araujo said...

I'd love to read this book.
Please, enter me.

Elyssa said...

Sounds like a great book! Please enter me!


Rose McCauley said...

Wow! A chance to win a book from Susie Warren and Rachel all in the same week! Please enter my name. I've got several of Rachel's books and would love to have another one to add to my collection.

Robyn said...

This was a terrific interview.

Thanks for the chance to win.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Merry said...

Count me in, I'd like to read Rachel's newest book. Thanks!

Andrea Schultz said...

Would quite like to win and read this one!

Blessings -


Please come visit my blog for book reviews and current giveaways!:


Marla said...

Please enter me in the drawing. I would love the chance to read this. Thanks!